An Irish parliamentary committee on trade relations has come out in unanimous support of a ban on imports from illegal Israeli settlements, The Irish Times reported Wednesday.
The committee is about to write to the deputy head of government and the Foreign Affairs Minister Eamonn Gilmore to call for the implementation of the national ban.
A ban on Irish imports from illegal Israeli settlements is a significant step toward answering Palestinian civil society’s call for a global boycott of Israeli occupation. The call, issued in 2005, calls on individuals and groups to boycott products, companies and institutions that support the violation of Palestinian rights in Palestine.
The boycott movement also seeks to push groups to divest from corporations complicit in the repression of Palestinians, and to encourage states to place economic sanctions on Israel for discriminatory policy-making.
Israel has long history of subjugating indigenous Palestinians, starting with the creation of the state in 1948, when the few thousand Palestinians who were not expelled from their homeland were placed under nearly 20 years of military rule. Palestinians in territories occupied by Israel after 1967 remain under stifling and often lethal martial law.
A rapidly growing list of groups have heeded the call to boycott, including some major European labor unions and world-renowned artists. Several student unions in North America in recent months have voted in favor of having their universities divest from companies operating in Palestinian occupied territories. One French multinational, Veolia, is currently in financial dire straits after having lost large European contracts over illegal operations in the territories.
One Irish lawmaker, Senator Jim Walsh, suggested that Ireland completely implement the call to boycott. “In the background, we shouldn’t rule out banning all Israeli products,” said Walsh.
Another politician, Eric Byrne, urged the government to champion an EU-wide ban during Ireland’s presidency in the union next year.
“This new Irish parliamentary move should become a model to be emulated by all European lawmakers who claim to care about human rights and international law,” said founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Omar Barghouti.
Palestine’s boycott movement takes its cue from the South African campaign to boycott, divestment, and sanction the apartheid regime, which collapsed under the strain of economic and diplomatic pressures in 1994.
- Israel ‘Pillaging’ Palestinian Resources (ipsnews.net)
- EU states urged to label all West Bank produce separately (irishtimes.com)
- United Church of Canada defends decision to boycott Israeli products (presstv.com)